PDA

View Full Version : VIP: Moving Forward



knightofeffect
04-10-2015, 09:06 AM
Colin's wonderful incentivized charity gave me an idea on how the VIP program could be continued while limiting the possibility of abuse.

Make the cost equal to or slightly greater than the cost of just straight up buying the boosters but provide some incentive, be it just the VIP entry ticket with the chance to win the AA cards and maybe something else depending on how far over the booster value the VIP costs. Maybe just really enhancing the overall payout of the VIP tournaments. =)

That way people would have very little to no incentive to stack VIPs as there are only so many VIP tournaments one can play in. What's the worst case scenario? A lot of people play in every single VIP tournament and they are a wild success?

EDIT: Now featuring additional options!

Here are some of our ideas:

The Boost Option

Cost: 1000p

* 1 pack per week for a month
* 1 VIP ticket per month w/inclusive tournament entry fee (any required packs for entrance must be provided by the player)

* 1 random PvE consumable boost
** Midas Flask (Common) - Double gold next arena
** Sticky Gloves (Common) - Double chest next arena
** Royal Hands (Common) - One free mulligan next arena
** Future Sight (Uncommon) - If you win the coin toss, draw your hand before choosing to play or draw next arena
** Emperor's New Robes (Uncommon) - No enemy equipment next arena
** Helm of Perseverance (Uncommon) - Option to reattempt a loss once each tier next arena. (second result replaces the first)
** Fate's Friend (Rare) - Choose to play or draw every game next arena
** BFG (Rare) - Automatically defeat a single non-boss opponent in your next arena (must be done from arena lobby, not in game)
** Null Field (Rare) - Automatically successful challenges next arena
** Dragon Hunter (Legendary) - Increase chance of encountering Uruunaz next arena (guaranteed if perfect run going into final boss)

Some people might balk at the raid leader-like PvE boosts, but I don't think it's a big deal since you are really just looking a couple runs a months per player getting that specific bonus. Also, you could make it stack with the raid leader bonus so everyone is happy.

I think this proposal would scratch the VIP PvP itch as well as providing some spice and variation to an increasingly difficult arena while creating a guaranteed revenue stream of pack sales for CZE while preventing pack-acquisition abuse.


The Clean Option

Cost: 800p

* 1 pack per week for a month
* 1 ticket to enter a VIP tournament a month (entrance fee separate)


The Draft Option

Cost: 500p

* 1 draft set of your choice a month (can be used for "beginner" or "advanced" draft queues)
* 1 ticket to enter a VIP tournament a month (entrance fee separate)

Hell, maybe literally providing the player with those options would be the way to go =P.

Let me know what you think!

Ju66ernaut
04-10-2015, 09:30 AM
I see merit in your proposal. It doesn't seem to devalue packs. I do like the subscription model, it's great for steady cash inflow. I would be pretty happy with anything that continued the monthly VIP tourneys, even if it were 200 plat for a monthly VIP ticket.

rjselzler
04-10-2015, 09:39 AM
I like VIP having some sort of effect on PvE and the general tone of your idea. One concern would be balancing for PvE when new dungeons are released. I think a smaller list of effects would be easier to manage than a large (and more fun, IMO) list. Just a thought. For the current PvE implementation, these seem relatively low-stakes, which is reasonable as a gimme perk.

Overall, I'd subscribe to this plan once my VIP sub expires. I would like any option to include a yearly sub, even if there is no discount; I just prefer to renew subscriptions on an annual basis, if possible.

Thanks for the ideas.

knightofeffect
04-10-2015, 09:56 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys!

Yea, i was really just trying to come up with something that I personally wouldn't hesitate to sign up for, would really benefit CZE, would be fun, and difficult to abuse.

I was totally just spit balling PvE boosts cause they were fun to think about, but I think there were a decent baseline between non-trivial and non-broken. There are any number of ways to go with the actual implementation of them if CZE really went in that direction. :)

Svenn
04-10-2015, 09:57 AM
No. PvE is the free side of the game. There shouldn't be direct paid rewards for it.

rjselzler
04-10-2015, 09:58 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys!

Yea, i was really just trying to come up with something that I personally wouldn't hesitate to sign up for, would really benefit CZE, would be fun, and difficult to abuse.

I was totally just spit balling PvE boosts cause they were fun to think about, but I think there were a decent baseline between non-trivial and non-broken. There are any number of ways to go with the actual implementation of them if CZE really went in that direction. :)

I do like the ideas in general, though.

knightofeffect
04-10-2015, 10:02 AM
No. PvE is the free side of the game. There shouldn't be direct paid rewards for it.

I agree that this is a fairly continuous point. Cory has said in the past that they will consider PvE boost consumables in some fashion. Possibly only through chests or gold, but plat didn't seem out of the question. I agree that a direct plat to PvE perk translation does feel a little off, even if the PvE benefit is a small side-perk when compared to the real benefits.

If we are being honest, currently having the plat to build an optimized arena deck is already kinda a plat-to-PvE boost mechanism ; aside of the fact that the raid leader buff is an inescapable relationship from real money to PvE boost.

Those points aside, the real focus of the concept it to not undervalue packs in the subscription by charging more and offering other incentives, although I knew the PvE perk suggestions would get the most attention :P.

Turtlewing
04-10-2015, 10:33 AM
I'm not a huge fan of consumable boosts.

I'd be more interested in something like consumable cards (like spectral lotus) or equipment (breaks after you play the card it buffs a number of times?) than something you activate outside of the game to have a persistent in game effect.

Also I think lowering the price to 800 platinum and keeping the VIP tickets unchanged makes more sence than 1,000p and a new VIP ticket worth a platinum entry fee.

Really I think the 1 pack per week and 1 VIP ticket per month, for the cost of the packs is fine. It doesn't discount packs, but gives incentive for people to sign up for a sub instead of binge buying packs at set releases which helps stabilize CZE's income.

MatWith1T
04-10-2015, 10:37 AM
I think something to keep in mind (and this is not just specific to this particular suggestion) is the original intent of the VIP program was to encourage people to enter the pay portions by offering slight discounts. 4 packs for the price of 2 is pretty good incentive for someone to dip their toes in the TCG waters, and the VIP tournament was the cherry on top. A $10/month subscription that gives you advantages over other people in the free-to-play part of the game is the kind of nonsense that makes people dislike micro-transaction games... people can (and will) gripe about Kickstarter bonuses, but it was a one-time payment for a one-time small group of people... subscription based advantages will be much uglier.

knightofeffect
04-10-2015, 11:00 AM
I agree that you want to avoid the negative perception of P2W as much as possible; however, the essence of an true TCG is always going to have those elements.

You simply can't create a subscription based model that incentivizes by a large discount to pack prices as that will be abused by the same people that you are concerned about in the $10/per month model but even more so, as we evidenced actually happened.

Perhaps there is a better mix of pack/dollar/perk mix that would be more attractive as a gateway drug to the F2P crowd, but the general basis that the overall price is equal to or greater on a per pack basis with extra perks I believe to be the best way forward to minimize abuse.

Its not like we are talking about huge advantages for the subscribers here either. Really the chance to win the AA cards in the VIP tournament would be the biggest perk, and that is the part that everyone agrees we want to keep around.

knightofeffect
04-10-2015, 11:02 AM
I'm not a huge fan of consumable boosts.

I'd be more interested in something like consumable cards (like spectral lotus) or equipment (breaks after you play the card it buffs a number of times?) than something you activate outside of the game to have a persistent in game effect.

Also I think lowering the price to 800 platinum and keeping the VIP tickets unchanged makes more sence than 1,000p and a new VIP ticket worth a platinum entry fee.

Really I think the 1 pack per week and 1 VIP ticket per month, for the cost of the packs is fine. It doesn't discount packs, but gives incentive for people to sign up for a sub instead of binge buying packs at set releases which helps stabilize CZE's income.

I wanted to say I completely agree this would be the cleanest and probably best way to move forward, especially in the near term. It's not quite as fun as I was hoping :P, but it accomplishes my goals with very little opportunity for controversy or abuse. :)

MatWith1T
04-10-2015, 11:07 AM
I agree that you want to avoid the negative perception of P2W as much as possible; however, the essence of an true TCG is always going to have those elements.

You simply can't create a subscription based model that incentivizes by a large discount to pack prices as that will be abused by the same people that you are concerned about in the $10/per month model but even more so, as we evidenced actually happened.

Perhaps there is a better mix of pack/dollar/perk mix that would be more attractive as a gateway drug to the F2P crowd, but the general basis that the overall price is equal to or greater on a per pack basis with extra perks I believe to be the best way forward to minimize abuse.

Its not like we are talking about huge advantages for the subscribers here either. Really the chance to win the AA cards in the VIP tournament would be the biggest perk, and that is the part that everyone agrees we want to keep around.

I think the solution to VIP in any form is going to be some meaningful threshold of participation before you get the payoff. My suggestion was a bonus tier/payout in Ladder (when that becomes a thing) that adds additional rewards if you are a VIP - You can lose all your matches and still theoretically get same 4 packs for $4/month (or something similar)... but you have to play the matches in the first place rather than just passively collecting.

knightofeffect
04-10-2015, 11:18 AM
I think the solution to VIP in any form is going to be some meaningful threshold of participation before you get the payoff. My suggestion was a bonus tier/payout in Ladder (when that becomes a thing) that adds additional rewards if you are a VIP - You can lose all your matches and still theoretically get same 4 packs for $4/month (or something similar)... but you have to play the matches in the first place rather than just passively collecting.

Now that is an interesting idea and something that really bares thinking about. I like that it would incentivize participation in ladder and make the system hard to abuse at the same time.

a concern would be people complaining similarly to the draft ticket complaints about being pressured to use their time to take advantage of a perk that they payed for. Heck, the draft-ticket perk is really even more "free" than this incentivized discount you are referring to, but people still complain that it is non-passive.

Also, there would be a concern from players that are simply not interested in competitive play, which is much bigger group than you might imagine and have a particularly larger representation from the very F2P crowd that you are hoping to attract to the VIP program.

Finally, the implementation for the system would be a little longer term and complicated than a purely passive system. But again, I think it is a neat idea and would certainly like to see ladder incentivized in some way. Perhaps something like this could accomplish both goals. :)

knightofeffect
04-10-2015, 11:29 AM
Maybe you could do something as simple as a 500 plat per month subscription that gets you a draft ticket a month. It's only a very slight discount on the actual pack value while incentivizing drafts to pop much more frequently, heck I bet it could even sustain two draft formats that way (something we will need when the next block comes around).

Yea, the number of byes might go up, but the real advantage is in using the extra entrance fee discount by pricing the ticket at 500 plat. Sure people that farm get a slight advantage, but would it really be that worth it to sit through the whole drafting process and then not play at least a round with the "free" entrance fee?

EDIT:
Actually with the going rate of a draft set on the AH, a 500 plat cost for a single draft a month would be a great way to advertise a "discount" without there really being much of one.

Kilo24
04-10-2015, 11:46 AM
I'm pretty sure that Cory had some strong things to say about what they would and would not sell for plat. PVE boosts were very much in the latter category, and VIP turning into an end-around to that effect is neither something that they're likely to do nor is it something I'd personally be appreciative of.

knightofeffect
04-10-2015, 11:57 AM
I'm pretty sure that Cory had some strong things to say about what they would and would not sell for plat. PVE boosts were very much in the latter category, and VIP turning into an end-around to that effect is neither something that they're likely to do nor is it something I'd personally be appreciative of.

I think that is a fair point, but again, let's think about what a chest you get from using plat to buy a pack gets you...

Will those chests have a PvE consumable? Would that be okay? Will they have PvE equipment? Would that be okay?

If the answer to either one of those is yes, then packs themselves are already an "end-around" to spend plat on getting a PvE benefit. And again, again, this is a TCG, someone who spends $1000 on day one of playing this game is going to immediately be a lot better at PvE than someone that is just using a starter. That's just the way things are.

However, simply on the virtue of perception the point you make is more than valid since perception is everything.

I'll update the OP when I get home with some of the less PvE boost controversial options we have discussed so far.

Ertzi
04-10-2015, 12:01 PM
The first thing that I would drop from the VIP is any kind of tournament or draft ticket. This forces VIPs to play competitive games, which I don't particularly like. I would prefer any kind of VIP rewards to be handed out to all the players that subscribe to it automatically, as I don't think a chance to get something if you are skilled is super alluring to many casual players. This always favors the more experienced players, and I would like the VIP to be something that all can enjoy.

Maybe one pack and just cosmetic stuff, or maybe one fun, semi-worthless but exclusive card with cool art per month. If the VIP = only an entry to a tournament that rewards AAs, that might be the only possible scenario I would not partake in it. Don't make me fight for it if I'm paying for it already, and make it exclusive, and I'm in.

vickrpg
04-10-2015, 12:18 PM
I think the OP would be a great solution, and the negative effects can easily be negated by offering the same boosts for gold in the store, or through some store NPC, or even as drops. getting 1 random of 10+ minor boosts a month, that you can already get a specific choice for can hardly be called pay 2 win.

But I personally think a Draft ticket VIP with the VIP tourney would be the best idea, as it would support both tournament styles. (VIP and draft)

knightofeffect
04-10-2015, 12:55 PM
The first thing that I would drop from the VIP is any kind of tournament or draft ticket. This forces VIPs to play competitive games, which I don't particularly like. I would prefer any kind of VIP rewards to be handed out to all the players that subscribe to it automatically, as I don't think a chance to get something if you are skilled is super alluring to many casual players. This always favors the more experienced players, and I would like the VIP to be something that all can enjoy.

Maybe one pack and just cosmetic stuff, or maybe one fun, semi-worthless but exclusive card with cool art per month. If the VIP = only an entry to a tournament that rewards AAs, that might be the only possible scenario I would not partake in it. Don't make me fight for it if I'm paying for it already, and make it exclusive, and I'm in.

Thanks for that perspective Ertzi! I knew that point-of-view was out there and I think its an important one to remember.

Tell though if you would be opposed to this:

* 500plat gets you a single draft ticket a month
* You can use the draft ticket in the "Beginner" draft pool. **
* At an absolute minimum, you are receiving 600p worth of cards and some experience drafting in a very low-pressure environment.
* For the people that have absolutely no PvP interaction as a requirement, the pure value of the deal could be even better by just exclusively rare drafting.
* This lack of PvP interest and rare drafting by the above would prove symbiotic for those that are actually interested in taking advantage of the "free" entrance cost of the draft by receiving free packs via byes.

I think that creates a situation that isn't particularly easy for any one group to exploit while giving a strong incentive for people of multiple interests to take advantage of it.

What would you think of that?

** Note: Eventually it would be ideal if instead of anyone being able to join "beginner" draft room, only players under a certain number of total drafts or are under some win percentage in drafts are allowed to enter (this would also reward the lower-tier players with more byes as all the players that just quit after drafting would stay only in this queue while preventing players that want competitive matches from having to potentially site though 1hr of a draft lobby screen).

I'm sure some people will argue that they have a bunch of time on their hands and legitimately like the prize structure of the "beginner" drafts more; while, I would certainly be skeptical that they weren't just trying to farm lower skill-cap drafts, it is easily remedied by creating an "intermediate" or some other term for a queue that is for people that want the beginner prize structure but no longer qualify for beginner tournaments.

I think we would need a larger playerbase to pull this off, but this might be a really good feature to support getting new players into the more competitive avenues of a TCG while providing even more value to those only interested in PvE.

knightofeffect
04-10-2015, 12:56 PM
I think the OP would be a great solution, and the negative effects can easily be negated by offering the same boosts for gold in the store, or through some store NPC, or even as drops. getting 1 random of 10+ minor boosts a month, that you can already get a specific choice for can hardly be called pay 2 win.

But I personally think a Draft ticket VIP with the VIP tourney would be the best idea, as it would support both tournament styles. (VIP and draft)

Thanks vick! I'm glad you like the ideas =D

Ertzi
04-10-2015, 01:17 PM
What would you think of that?


I really like that you are willing to try to make it work by suggesting changes after feedback, but I would still prefer drafting (and all other tournaments) to be completely separate from the VIP. I already draft anyway for fun. Something completely different would be my preference. This is just my opinion though :) Anything that helps inexperienced drafters is good in my book by the way. Just not in the VIP program.

If a tournament ticket is part of the VIP, but not the most important part, I guess it's okay. I just feel that the more competitive and value-hungry players can't see past anything else than the AA tournament for the VIP, when it could be almost anything. Making the VIP just about a tournament would be such a... boring solution. I would like to see something more innovative here. We already have several different tournaments. We will see what CZE can conjure up. I have faith that they come up with something sweet.

Kilo24
04-10-2015, 01:37 PM
I think that is a fair point, but again, let's think about what a chest you get from using plat to buy a pack gets you...

Will those chests have a PvE consumable? Would that be okay? Will they have PvE equipment? Would that be okay?

If the answer to either one of those is yes, then packs themselves are already an "end-around" to spend plat on getting a PvE benefit. And again, again, this is a TCG, someone who spends $1000 on day one of playing this game is going to immediately be a lot better at PvE than someone that is just using a starter. That's just the way things are.

However, simply on the virtue of perception the point you make is more than valid since perception is everything.

I'll update the OP when I get home with some of the less PvE boost controversial options we have discussed so far.

They could be end-arounds, but it's also the case that people are buying packs are very unlikely to be doing so for the chests. Chests are thrown in as a bonus, can be traded independently, and - unless the economy gets very, very screwed up - are never going to be the major reason for acquiring a pack.

There's also the problem that the more sources of consumable items that there are, the more the game's economy and design will have to change to account for that. I really don't like the idea that every attempt that I make at a dungeon is going to have a cost associated with it as that discourages experimentation, and these ideas bring it closer to that extreme.

This is a fuzzy line to draw and I admit it, but a large part of why I backed this game as a Kickstarter was the promise that similar effects to the $250 tiers would never be sold for cash. Without that or a similar assurance, there's a lot of ways that the game could degenerate into one of those F2P horror stories where the whole game design is focused on bleeding you for money. TCGs are already uncomfortably close enough to that for me, so I start getting quite nervous when I see people eroding that promise. VIP was never a good idea in the first place, and I still haven't seen any suggested changes that make it one.

Honestly, I think that the current compensation approach to the auto-expiring VIP is probably the best one that Cryptozoic could have rigged up, and yet I'm still not in favor of it. Exclusive AA cards are not going to negatively affect much else in the economy except for the prices of their base card.

knightofeffect
04-10-2015, 02:09 PM
@Ertzi
You bring up another good point from a fresh perspective. We have been probably focusing too much on the subscription service as a vehicle to deliver the VIP (read: Generic AA incentivized tournament) ticket to competitive players. I think the reason we have been approaching it from that angle is primarily because that is the initial paradigm CZE created and that seems the VIP tournaments themselves have been a rabid success in terms of getting players interested in regular, large-scale tournaments; that isn't something we want to lose as the time ticking on the remaining VIP timers runs out.

That being said, I think the "Boost" option in the OP is a good mix as it allows the PvE perk to be the primary perk of interest to the PvE players outside of the packs and vice-versa for competitive PvP players and the VIP tourney ticket. In both cases you are not guaranteed a great payout; IE in PvE if you use any of the boost I gave for an example, you aren't guaranteed a great run by any stretch, similarly in the VIP tourney you by no means guaranteed a single AA.

Maybe there is a possibility to have a mix of the VIP subscription options available depending on your focus.

@Kilo24
I wanted to respond to these together as my response above also tries to point out that in this VIP system, the PvE boost and/or VIP tournament is only the primary motivation for the player if they choose for it to be.

IE, when a player buys a pack, their primary motivation will be to either leverage those cards towards PvE, PvP (usually through drafting), or both if they have the time. If they intended to buy the pack for PvE, well then the equipment they might acquire through the chests could very well be a part of the primary motivating factor. Right now we really can't see that because we can't yet open the chests =P. Naturally it only makes sense that a player would wish to take advantage of both the PvE and PvP potential gained from spending platinum on a pack. Similarly this VIP system would most reward the player who is prepared to take advantage of both the PvE and PvP benefits of spending platinum on VIP, but also sufficiently caters to each independently if necessary.

It's more like an extension of the pack-buying experience that is incentivezed just enough to make it viable in order to produce a steady revenue stream for CZE.

I do completely agree that any approach like this would need to be heavily vetted in an economic sense, but I'm not sure that the PvE boosts I suggested would be that economically disruptive. It also seems like they would be self-regulating: IE, the value of a consumable to automatically defeat a non-boss arena encounter would be gated by the expected value of that victory (in gold) plus the expected value in increasing the likelihood that the tier is perfected (a chest). If anything it could be used to smooth the learning curve a little for the new players as the arena shows no signs of getting any easier while slightly decreasing the completion time for veterans.

Yoss
04-10-2015, 04:15 PM
Someone mentioned Hex selling boosts for both currencies. This should absolutely NOT happen, it would effectively peg gold to plat at a fixed rate.

As for VIP, I care not at all for the current fixed-time AA tournaments. If you change VIP to have no discount, I will no longer be VIP*. (Not that that is bad, if everyone else loves it.) KS advertised this as the "old busy guy TCG" (among many other promises) and that's exactly what I backed for. I would love to see some way to have VIP tournaments be Asynchronous (and previously proposed an easy system to handle it).

* Edit
I should clarify. I would love some totally new form of VIP. I fully recognize the problem with current VIP. Any discounts in future VIP should be tied to buying in bulk (minimum 1 year at a time) and should discount things that are not too easy to liquidate (tournament tickets, sleeves, etc).

knightofeffect
04-10-2015, 04:21 PM
I didn't see anyone mention about about selling packs for gold in this topic. That is definitely not a good idea.

Well, what can I say. Another new perspective of just looking for a straight up discount. I just don't think that is viable without making it exploitable and hard to enforce. Also, all it would do is just reduce the relative valentines of everything like we saw with the Booster prices back when you could buy VIP. Yea, you are buying more, but everything you are getting is worth less. Why not just lower the pack,price to 125plat at that point?

israel.kendall
04-10-2015, 04:30 PM
I used to want a revamped VIP program very badly. But now I'm of the opinion now that we do not need a VIP system at all. I feel it would be far more beneficial to the game to just put all the cool stuff in game for everyone and not locked behind a pay wall.

Yoss
04-10-2015, 05:08 PM
Edited my previous post to clarify what I meant.

Xenavire
04-10-2015, 08:15 PM
Some things I have been thinking about...

Boosters/entry fees: how about offering different VIP packages? One gives the boosters at a fairly flat rate (essentially 200 plat per booster, + potential perks) and then have a vip sampler, where each week you get an expiring tournament entry ticket - week 1 could be draft, week 2 could be constructed, week 3 could be sealed, and week 4 would be VIP. This could be where the discount lies (if only minor.)

As for consumables - I don't know what consumables we could get, but VIP could give out the same buffs, but have them with more uses than normal, or some other twist. They don't have to have different effects to differ from the gold purchase versions.

Plenty of intersting ideas floating around for VIP stuff, usually well worth reading.